Microsoft patented their own trigger force feedback technology, should they have included it in the Series controllers?

The ”Motor-Driven Adjustable-Tension Trigger," applies force feedback to your inputs on the triggers. Looking at the patent, it’s very similar to what Sony has announced for their Dual Shock 5 controllers. One difference being that Sony uses helical gears, which should be quieter, in theory, but weaker in delivered power. I don’t know which is more durable, but I’d guess the helical gear would be.

There are some obvious pros and cons to having this feature.

The pro being that it can be applied to benefit any game. Unlike other controller gimmicks that ask developers to add new control mechanisms to their game, this can be applied to any game that use the trigger buttons. As such, adoption rates could be high, if not universal.

It’s benefits to games is pretty obvious as well, and can be applied to every single genre.

The cons being that it would increase the price of the of the controller. Secondly more parts and more moving parts can introduce issues with durability.

In terms of developer adoption one could point to the lack of support of Xbox’s impulse triggers to demonstrate that implementation may not be as widespread as one would think. I personally believe that it has more to do with its appropriate applications being less obvious than force feedback.

If we contrast the prices of the series controllers with the Dual Shock 5 controllers we can see a significant price difference. If I were to guess, the DS5’s haptic feedback technology (which is licensed, by the way) is not the main reason for the price difference. I say this because it doesn’t introduce much added hardware and it isn’t something that is fragile that needs to be built robustly.

So with that in mind, what do you all think?

My personal opinion is that this is useful technology and would have benefited many Microsoft games along with third-party games. It’s adoption would have been far more wide spread being that both consoles now support it. I also think that haptic feedback would have been important as well. But I cannot deny that the price of $70 for a base controller is borderline unreasonable. And so despite the fact that I believe these technologies can change gaming for the better, the cost to add them would make controller prices unreasonable. This wouldn’t be an issue if these manufacturers were okay with decreasing their profit margins on controllers but apparently that doesn’t look to be the case.

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Yes, they should. I think the new Xbox controllers lack of innovation is a bummer

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Maybe they wanna sell us the feature in a new Elite controller in a cpl yrs?

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My answer to nearly all buzzing in my hands is NO! But I have been fighting carpal tunnel and arthritis since a relatively early age. The only thing I leave on for my Elite controller is the slightest amount in some games, and for driving games I’ll increase the trigger feedback. I want no part in additional resistance on a trigger pull.

Keeping in mind MS is aware of differently able gamers (adaptive controller) I could easily jump to the conclusion they analyzed this and knew it would be a niche of a niche that would add to the price of the controller and therefore their target price for the new series systems. I am happy MS sacrificed this for cost savings in the initial bundle.

But, if they want to add it to the elite series (and I can still control it), fine by me! I think the adoption rate of these would be low even if bundled. Rumble, for all the years it’s been around, is still a bit of buzz. Nothing meaningful since the days of “feeling” for hidden items or for the controller to go nuts buzzing and rattling in an explosion. Thanks, no. My subwoofer will shake my house in that case. The controller just makes noise I’m supposed to feel and it actually distracts me from the screen.

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I personally don’t care about this. I always find myself turning rumble off.

I’m only looking for a traditional controller that feels good when holding it and Xbox makes the best one hands down.

no, seems like a gimmick. Even the Sony version will not be utilized in most games. The only use case i’ve heard is shooting arrows and guns locking up. That sounds more annoying than fun gameplay experiences.

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The Xbox controllers starting with Xbox One already have haptic feedback triggers in them, and allow for things like resistance as well (Project Cars 3 is the latest game taking advantage of this).

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Easier said than done. A patent is just an idea.

no need for gimmicks

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I wanted to revisit this thread after impressions of the DS5 came out to see if anyone’s opinions changed on this topic.

(secondly if bumping an older topic is considered poor forum ettiquete, and is preferred to create a new thread please let me know, I’ll gladly oblige)

The DS5 has turned out as great as I expected it to be. As I said earlier the advanced rumble as well as force feedback can be implemented into every game, So it stands to reason that adoption of these features will be widespread.

And yes I wish the Xbox controllers had those features, but my reservation still stands as well. The price increase to $70 ($90 Canadian) is too steep in a hobby that is aiming to be as accessible as possible.

But looking at it now I believe Microsoft can implement these features, without adopting a built-in speaker in microphone, and feature it at a $60 price which is a bit more palatable.

Furthermore, if I were to put my speculative hat on, I’d say that Microsoft had their patent and looked at this possibility and for a number of reasons strategically decided to hold off. This is pure speculation on my part. but I’m reading a Phil Spencer interview and I’m seeing the opportunity for Microsoft to release a special controller with these features, allowing gamers that want it to have it.

Excuse the sensationalist headline:

A $70 controller would have been antithetical to a lot of Microsoft’s goals. Allowing people to play games on their phone affordably, for controllers that could be used on PC, and for having people play together locally…mandating a $70 controller going forward would restrict a lot of people.

Right now the ability to play how you want to play is a big part of the Xbox branding. As such I see a possible Xbox “Feel” controller as an option much like the elite controller, very sensical approach going forward.

I’ll be honest if such a controller came out next year and Halo Infinite supported it fully I would be very very interested in using it to play through the Infinite campaign. Whereas I would go back to the default controller or the Elite controller when playing the game’s multiplayer. And when I play Halo Infinite split screen, I’ll be quite happy and thankful that my Xbox One controllers can be used with no problems.

So in a nutshell I think the possibility of an Xbox controller with these features should be investigated, that the microphone & speaker functionality is unnecessary for the great majority of games and not needed, and that a reduced price of $60-65 USD is more fair.

And that it is in the same category as the Elite controller, completely optional and only for those who want it. Microsoft is in a strong position to release this as an option and yet know that most developers will support it because they already do support it on the competing platform (which essentially means a few lines of code changed to support it on the Xbox).

Addendum… For clarity my suggestion is:

  • Base Xbox Controller $50
  • “Immersion” Xbox Controller $65 (no mic/speaker = more affordable)
  • Elite Xbox Controller $180
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The full quote from Phil on the Decoder podcast:

We’ve been talking a lot about Game Pass and streaming, being on lots of devices. A thing about this console generation, in particular, is that Sony took a leap forward with the actual controller. They were able to do something because they built haptics into their controller. It’s tightly integrated into their system. They have a few titles at launch that really take advantage of it. How are you thinking about that split? There’s something you can do if you own the whole stack over here, and then there’s this massive inflection point and opportunity to be everywhere if you commoditize a little bit more.

But they were able to take another leap with their controller, because they control the hardware stack.

I applaud what they did with the controller, not actually for — well, I shouldn’t say not for the specifics of the controller, but more than just the specifics of the controller. I think for all of us in the industry, we should learn from each other and the innovation that we all push on, whether it’s distribution of business model like Game Pass, or controller tech, or the Wii back in the day, which clearly had an impact on us when we went off and did Kinect and Sony did the Move.

I think all of that innovation is something that we should all be looking at and learning and growing and saying, “Okay, what’s really going to break out and become a common part of a platform that developers and players are going to look for?” Or, “What is more vertical around a specific scenario on a specific piece of hardware?” We’re trying to be eyes open on that. For any technology, whether it’s a controller, or any VR, or anything else…

Yeah, but I look at that controller and I say, there’s no way you could execute that unless you have a box right there. You couldn’t abstract the PlayStation platform to every phone in the world and then support haptics without any latency. You think you could?

Yeah, you could create as part of the API that we have with direct input, or with Apple and Android, which is where our controller works. We could clearly add API calls for rumble, which we already do in certain cases, or haptic triggers. It’s stuff that we’ve looked at.

The Xbox controller has kind of become a default, even outside of gaming scenarios, which is always bizarre to me. I’ll see somebody controlling a robot and they’re using an Xbox controller somewhere in an enterprise scenario.

That’s something where we have to think about superset, subset. Not all of our controllers have all exactly the same capability. The Elite has the buttons on the back and stuff. I don’t think it precludes us. There is something about the common expectation that people have [of] our controller and its ubiquity that’s out there, that I think is a string. It doesn’t keep us from innovating. Clearly, we do have to think about all of the use cases that are out there. We can’t turn the controller inside out because there’s so much expectation about the way it should work now. We can innovate on top of that, and we’re going to look at what any other company does and learn from it, and see if it’s something that we want to apply to what we’re doing.



My opinion:

To be perfectly clear, I have not used the DualSense yet. From what I’ve heard, it is truly next gen. But after the honeymoon phase is over, I’ve seen many people disable it for two reasons: 1. It drains the battery even more; and 2. It gives you a disadvantage on multiplayer, especially in shooters where you have to press harder to take the shot.

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It would be nice if:

  1. Controller is the same price
  2. 1st party studios really take advantage of these features in cool/innovative ways
  3. It’s very easy to disable it for competitive players, people who don’t care, scenarios outside of gaming…

As Phil said they’ve looked into it, wouldn’t surprise me if they released a “next-gen” Series X controller with those features at some point, let’s say for $20 more, or in the Elite 3. Especially if a lot of 3rd party studios are in for good. People who don’t care/can’t afford it/don’t need it wouldn’t have to pay for it, people who really want it could buy it.

I think the Dual Sense will take off and it will force MS to release a controller with similar features.

Personally I think yeah they should’ve innovated a little more on the controller by adding this as long as it could be disabled. It could be there for the people that want to experience it, and turned off for the people that don’t want to bother with it.

I know alot of people who turn off that feature on PS5 when playing Call of Duty. It’s really not a good feeling when the triggers of a controller are resisting your button presses. I think options are great but I see turning off that feature myself if it ever comes to Xbox.

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Personally, I have never ever been a fan of vibration/rumble in controllers and anything else similar is just gimmicky to me. When I get a PS5, those gimmicks will be turned off on the system/controller level because it’s of no interest to me.

Don’t care if Microsoft implements it or not but if they do, as long as they give me the option to turn it all off, it’s all good.

Came here to post this. They’re probably saving it for the Elite controllers. It would be nice, but it is what it is. At least we can use xbox one controllers.

No, I personally don’t think so.

Not sure there is a point in including it in a future niche controller where devs aren’t going to put the work in for a tiny user base.

For me personally I don’t want that stuff in my controller but that’s how I feel.

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I don’t care about the adaptive triggers. Haptic feedback is the big omission. Also gyro.